Orlando, Florida is quickly becoming known around the globe as a prime vacation destination. This warm-weather city boasts a whopping number of attractions, many of which can be found conveniently lining the 14 mile stretch of road known as International Drive. From bike tours to a thriving nightlife, this winding road has a lot to offer tourists these days. If you’re really looking to get the most out of your Orlando experience and you’re new to International Drive, make sure to hit up these 6 excellent, one-of-a-kind attractions first:
Mango’s Tropical Café
Mango’s is absolutely the number one destination for excellent, upbeat Orlando Dinner and Shows. The colorful, vibrant café specializes in gourmet Latin cuisine and provides entertainment that’s suitable for the entire family between 6 P.M. and 9:45 P.M. Each and every show is dazzling and unique. The current lineup of new events includes a wild burlesque show, a stunning Lady Gaga tribute, the Samba Brazilian Explosion, New Celia Cruz: The Queen of Salsa Tribute, the Best of Rock & Roll and 70’s Funky Melody, an assortment sure to appeal to every guest. Shows run continuously each night so you never need to be worried about missing your favorite.
The family fun shows might close up shop at 9:45, but a night at Mango’s never has to end early. After the main shows end, the café opens up as a signature part of Orlando Nightlife, offering adults the chance to dance, chat, and enjoy a few drinks. From VIP bottle service to a completely private lounge, the Vodou Room, the club comes complete with everything you need for an ideal night out on the town, including the excellent service that you’d expect from Orlando’s premier nightclub. The club stays open until 2 a.m., offering partiers plenty of time to thoroughly explore the club and unwind to some of the best tracks out there each and every night.
Finally, Mango’s is a chief destination for special events. If you’re looking to celebrate an anniversary, a birthday, bachelorette party or another occasion, Mango’s provides the perfect place to unwind and party. The new parking garage gives guests a convenient place to park as well, giving you fast, easy, safe access to your ride after the night finally comes to an end.The Escape Game Orlando
Escape rooms have been rising in popularity in recent years, and The Escape Game is among the best of them. This unique location features 4 different rooms and therefore 4 wildly different adventures to choose from.
- Gold Rush
- Prison Break
- The Heist
- Mission: Mars
Each room has its own challenges to overcome and mysteries to solve, such as freeing yourself from prison or uncovering a priceless work of art. Unless you book the entire room for a family event, you’ll play alongside other challengers in order to decipher clues to escape each locked room. The events are typically designed to last for an entire hour, giving you the chance to really get invested in this thrilling experience.
The premises itself features free parking and is wheelchair accessible. If you’re looking to book events for a large party, don’t worry – this business is open to hosting large parties as long as a booking is made in advance. There’s also merchandise for purchase so you can remember this part of your Orlando experience for years to come.
Skeletons: Museum of Osteology
If your interests lie more on the educational side, this awesome museum might be the right fit for your afternoon plans. Located at Orlando’s ICON 360 Complex, this museum features over 500 unique skeletons of all shapes and sizes, arranged in 100 percent unique poses and in dioramas that give a sense of how the animals in question interacted with their environment.
While this isn’t necessarily the kind of attraction one might expect to attend on vacation in this sunny Florida city, the museum attracts thousands upon thousands of curious guests each and every year. Its growing expansion focuses on educating people about the natural world and promoting knowledge of and participation in conservation efforts. With a huge number of exciting tours and education programs designed to engage kids, this is perhaps the most educational addition to International Drive.
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
What would a trip to Florida be without seeing a bit of the wildlife? Fortunately, with easy access to the Orlando Aquarium along International Drive, you won’t need to drive all the way to the beach to see some beautiful marine life. Furthermore, this attraction contains exhibits that give you a peek at sea life that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
- The Shoaling Ring
- Ocean Caves
- Jelly Wall
- Stingray Cove
These unique exhibits give you a sense of deep-sea life as you’ve never seen it, but others, such as the Everglades exhibit, show off some of southern Florida’s native wildlife so you can get a better sense of your vacation destination.
This destination is ideal for families and features a collection of interactive exhibits designed to keep young minds engaged. The Axolotl display, the Coastal Rockpool and the 360 Ocean Tunnel all feature ways to get involved with the marine life, boosting the fun and making the learning experience all the sweeter.
The ICON Orlando 360 complex is a location along International Drive that is a veritable amusement park in its own right. This building features a number of attractions such as museums and retail stores. Its biggest, most immediately notable feature, however, is the giant observation wheel, the ICON Orlando. This is, in fact, the tallest observation wheel on the east coast, measuring 400 feet in height. It’s the perfect way to get a glance at the entire layout of Orlando and to snap a few gorgeous pictures to preserve the memories of your visit for years to come.
Aside from the Skeletons museum and the observation wheel, this complex is also host to a 7D theater adventure, a massive arcade, an express train, the StarFlyer, and Madame Tussauds, a wax museum with lifelike statues of some of the biggest heroes and stars of the modern age. With so much to explore, this complex is the ultimate Orlando destination for family amusement.
With over 35,000 square feet to explore and learn in, this topsy-turvy attraction is one of the most immediately identifiable landmarks on the International Drive stretch. The building itself looks like an upside-down estate, an interesting appearance that just barely hints at the huge amount of “edu-tainment” opportunities just behind the doors. The huge premises hosts 6 distinctly different areas, each with their own sets of attractions and interactive exhibits:
- Natural Disasters
- Physical Challenge Zone
- Far Out Art Gallery
- Space Discovery
- Imagination Lab
- Light & Sound Zone
With plenty to touch, see and play with, this engaging assortment of exhibits is sure to stay entertaining all day long. With rope challenge courses, an expansive laser tag arena, and even a 4D XD simulation ride, this destinations offers just as much fun for parents as for kids.
Whether you’re in search of a delicious dinner and spectacular show or want a fun, educational experience while you’re on vacation, Orlando has it all and it can all be found on International Drive. Though there are certainly dozens of other attractions to attend along this lively stretch of road, these 6 are some of the most popular, and most closely capture the excitement of Orlando as a whole.